Lot 206 - 1953 Austin Healey 100/4

Lot 206 - 1953 Austin Healey 100/4

Lot 206 - 1953 Austin Healey 100/4

Lot Number 206
Registration NWD 980
Chassis Number BN1/143779
Engine Number 1B139290
Odometer reading 48,405 miles
Estimate £80,000 - £95,000
  • Restored to concours standard
  • Early and interesting race history, raced by Derek Rickman in period

Historics are truly delighted to bring to auction what is without doubt the very best Austin Healey we have ever offered. It has been completely restored down to the very last nut and bolt by its current owner, a qualified engineer, over the last seven years, having been previously dry stored in a barn for a mere 36 years! Purchased from ourselves in March 2014, the fastidious owner wanted to restore the Healey to concours standard and uncovered some very interesting history along the way.

Quite simply every part of this car has been restored as evidenced by pictures held on file and the attention to original detail is second to none. Finished in its original colour of Healey Grey i.e. light metallic blue with blue leather seats piped in grey, a blue PVC hood and full tonneau cover, everything about the vehicle is finished to ex-factory standard. The chassis and engine are the original items as fitted to the car and this is confirmed by the BMIHT certificate included in the history file.

The engine has been fully rebuilt to run on unleaded fuel with new bearings, big end shells, timing chain and tensioner, pistons and rings and has also been balanced, resulting in a car that, according the owner, runs ‘like a sewing machine’, although with a little more power! The rear axle, overdrive unit and gearbox have also been overhauled by specialist Hardy Engineering who also fitted their last remaining NOS lay shaft to the gearbox.

Although most small fittings and bumpers/over-riders were replaced, the owner was determined to retain the originality of the vehicle where possible. Many parts have been replated to the correct chrome or zinc/cad finish by Silva Bronz in Alton, Hampshire. Other items have all been extensively restored, including the grille, badges, switchgear and gear knob, distributor, coil, dynamo, starter motor, heater unit, fuel tank, sender unit, carburettors and steering wheel/column/horn assembly. The braking system has also been completely replaced as one would expect.

NWD 980 was originally registered with the Donald Healey Motor Company in Warwick on 1st October 1953 as shown in the original buff log book and V5C that come with the car, with body number 235 and an ‘Austin of England’ boot badge which confirms this as an extremely early example of a BN1 Healey. The car even has the correct early two part dash finished in the correct dark blue paint from the 100S cars. Indeed, as the 25th oldest UK right hand drive example held on the AH 100/4 register it would be eligible for a host of classic car events including the Mille Miglia and various historic car events held at Goodwood and other notable venues.

Furthermore, as this particular car was extensively raced in period at Goodwood and various other race and time trial events in the 1950's it is also eligible for a whole raft of historic events. Pictures of NWD 980 being raced at Goodwood and other South of England circuits along with other evidence are held in our files and are available for inspection.

Whilst very little is known about NWD 980 from 1958 -1978, the first three years of its life were most exciting. A certain Harold Wakefield of Castrol Oil fame had a particular interest in MotoCross which in the 1950's was in its zenith. He had spotted that a couple of brothers - the Rickman boys - Derek aged 20 and Don aged 21, were totally dominant in the field and always came 1st or 2nd in all their races both in the UK and Europe. They had developed a Rickman Metisse competition motorbike with its famous nickel-plated frame/oil tank, on which they won most races they entered and were clearly destined for greater things. Harold wanted to get involved in a major way and offered the Rickman brothers a three year sponsorship deal. The offer was accepted and NWD 980 was delivered shortly afterwards to Derek's home near Southampton; a photograph in the history file shows the new car outside his house, a lovely momento given to the owner by Derek together with all the other black and white photos held in the file. His brother Don received another motoring classic - a Triumph TR2 - MCR 907. During the last seven years as the present owner has rebuilt the car, it has been featured in several magazine articles and has been a source of reference for a number of other local Healey rebuilds in and around the Thames Valley area. NWD 980 has been used sparingly since the rebuild but has proved to be a super car to drive as might be expected. Everything functions as it should and it is now ready to be thoroughly enjoyed by a new owner.

To those of you who ask the obvious question ....’why sell it’?... the vendor answers thus; “I am really a fan of rebuilding classic cars, previous models include an MGC GT and an Austin Healey BT7...whilst they are a joy to drive, my pleasure really comes from doing all the repairs and reconditioning, it’s the attention to detail that I like and I think I might just squeeze in one more restoration before I hang up my tools”! A response which is certainly a blessing for the lucky new owner.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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